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Klaipeda

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Europe : Baltic states : Lithuania : Lithuania Minor : Klaipeda
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Klaipeda [1] [2] is Lithuania's third largest city, located in the north-western corner of the country. Originally founded by Baltic tribes, the city and castle was built by the Teutonic Order in 1252 and named Memel in honor of the river of the same name some 40km to the south. For most of its history, Memel was part of Prussia and large battles with Lithuanian lords took place here. Invasions came from Sweden and Russia and the city was part of the Prussian Kingdom and became a prosperous harbor town. It represented the northernmost city in Germany and Prussia until 1918. After Germany lost the First World War, Memelland was first given free city status and then subsequently annexed to the newly established Republic of Lithuania. It was briefly reabsorbed by Nazi Germany before WWII and then reverted back to Lithuania (the Soviet Union) in 1945. Since Lithuanian independence in 1990, Klaipeda has become one of Lithuania's most buoyant cities with a steadily growing tourist trade.

Understand

It is the gateway to the Curonian Spit, a stretch of sand dunes 99 km in length from 400 meter to 4 km, in breadth that arcs down to the Kaliningrad region of Russia.

Get in

Get around

Bus trip per person - 2.00 Lt (from kiosk), 2.40 Lt (from bus driver) (€0,58-0.71). Minibus trip per person - 2.50 Lt (day time), 3.40 Lt (night time) (€0,74-1.00). Taxi trip per 1 km - 1.30 Lt (€0,29).

More information on Klaipeda passenger transport [4] and [5].

See

Klaipėda is known for its main icons: sculpture Annchen von Tarau, located in theater square, old sailing ship Meridianas (there wes a restaurant inside), also there are lots of small sculptures (sculpture of mouse, dog, dragon, chimney sweep, post pigeons and others) hiding in the old town. There aren't many museums in Klaipėda. Most popular include the History Museum of Lithuania Minor, the Klaipeda Picture Gallery, the Marine museum and the Clock museum. Klaipeda's old town is small but interesting. Anika Square has a balcony where Adolph Hitler addressed a crowd. Legend has it that Hitler was annoyed because the statue depicting "Anikė" of the Lithuanian folk tale was not facing him, so he had the statue removed. A replica is now in its place.

  • Lithuanian Sea Museum and Delphinium. Smiltynės st. 3. [6].
  • The Castle Museum. Pilies st. 4. [7].
  • The Blacksmith's Museum. Šaltkalvių st. 2. [8].
  • The History Museum of Lithuania Minor. Didžioji Vandens st. 6. [9].
  • Clock Museum. Liepų st. 12. [10].
  • P. Domšaitis' Gallery. Liepų st. 33.

Do

If you like nature - you must visit Curonian spit, which is a 10 minute boat ride from the Old ferry terminal (New ferry terminal for vehicles). In summer time the ferries are running each 30 minutes, starting from 6 am, till midnight. In other side (Smiltynė) you can visit Sea museum, ethnographic fisherman farmstead, take a walk on the pier, see the white sanded beaches or just take bus to Juodkrante or Nida towns (they are located 18 and 50 km from Smiltyne to south). Renting a bicycle and cycling to Juodkrante is a nice day trip. The forst is magnificent.

Beaches

There is a big and wide sand beach at Smiltynė, full of locals and tourists in the summer. Giruliai and Melnragė beaches are at Northern Klaipėda, big and popular place to visit. The water is clean and warm (in summer).

Try also Palanga further north. [11]

Buy

The biggest shopping mall is called Akropolis [12] and it is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Baltics. Akropolis attractions include cinema, skating rink, restaurants, shops, 2 supermarkets, gym, pizzerias and so on.

Eat

There is a decent selection of Lithuanian and Western restaurants, most of which are located around the city's main thoroughfare, H.Manto street, and its continuation into the Old Town, Tiltu street. Main course prices range from €2 at the lower end up to around €20 at the higher end.

Snack

If you are looking for snacks, you will find small bakeries in city centre and the Old town . There are also few popular bistros: "Friedricho bistro" at Herkaus Manto street, and not far from it there is Mažvydo alley "Alėja".

And cheese fingers - you can't leave the city without trying this. These you can get in the bar "Senamiestis", located in Bažnyčių street 4.

Dinner

If you are looking for non-expensive lunch you can go to any restaurant/bar and get the day lunch, from day lunch menu. The time when you can eat day lunch is between 11:30 to 14:00. It consists from one soup "day soup" and 2 to 4 main dishes. Approximate price is from 9 to 12 Lt (€3-4).

For dinner you should try to visit these places:

  • Friedrich passage. Tiltu st. 26A. Here you can find wide variety of different food facilities in one place (Lithuanian dishes restaurant, pizzeria, tea/coffee house, bakery, winery, Mediterranean sea restaurant, stake house) [13].
  • La Cle restaurant is one of the most popular with very dedicated chefs. Mostly it is booked ahead, but it is possible to get in without table reservation. [14]
  • Juodas Katinas. Average price for a full business class dinner €7,50. Žvejų st. 21/Teatro st. 1. [15].
  • Restaurant "Stora Antis" was built in 1856 on the burnt foundation after the Great Fire in Memel in 1854. Restaurant is an architectural monument and is guarded by the state. It's a small restaurant in the very centre of an old town, on Tiltu street, 6. It slightly reminds of a shop of antiques, a little bit of museum, and also of a club for variety stars, politicians and businessmen. But the most important is qualitative Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Balkan and Byelorussian cuisine [16].
  • Cancan Pizza. Taikos av. 61 (shopping center „Akropolis“) [17].

Drink

The local brewery is Švyturys (Lighthouse) [18]. The "Š" is actually a "sch" - sound and the "y" is pronounced as a long "i".

Klaipėda is known not only for its beer, locals are very into wineries. Almost on every corner you can find a small and cozy winery with huge variety of wines.

In old town you can find cocktail bars as well: "12th floor", "Viva La Vita", "TaiFun".

There is a great down-to-earth but arty bar with cool music/decor/staff called Balta Varna [19] on Sukilėlių g. 18 near to Teatro square.

Clubs

Most of the pubs are located in the city centre and also in the southern part of the city. In the city centre there is old warehouse Memelis (now it is renovated and working as bar/club), there is a brewery inside and you can taste beer that's produced in the same building. Average price for a pint of beer in city center for pub 5-8 Lt (around €1.45-2.30).

Popular clubs include:

  • El Calor. (Latino dance music) Kepėjų st. 10. [20].
  • Kurpiai. (Jazz club) Kurpių st. 1a. [21].
  • Dr. Who. (Dance, disco, funk music) Naujojo Sodo st. 1. [22].
  • Kiwi. (Club music) J. Janonio. 27. [23].
  • Martini. Taikos av. 64. [24].

Sleep

Camping

  • Pajūrio kempingas (transl. Seaside camping) [25] In this camping place you can stay in a tent, camper, camping wagon or indoors (bungalows are being constructed and going to operational from 2013 spring only). They offer stay in one hostel like room with five beds for reasonable price - 50 Lt/person.

Hostels

  • Klaipėda hostel, Butkų Juzės street 7, [26]. It is pretty small but cozy hostel. 35 - 45 Lt. per night depending on season. Discounts with IYHF card.
  • Hostel KUBU is located in Herkus Mantas street 37A, next to Lietuvininkų square. Small, new (opened in 2012) in the city center hostel. Prices are from 30 Lt up to 50 Lt per person (depending on the room).

Hotels

  • Amberton 4**** [27] The biggest hotel in the city with the most rooms, all thought they have rooms in old part of the building and new part of the building. In the new part of the hotel building rooms are way more nicer and comfortable, and are a bit more expensive. On the ground floor of hotel there is gym with swimming pool, casino, they have 2 restaurants and 2 bars/cafes. There are two sky-bars at 12th and 20th floor.
  • Ararat 4**** [28] Apartment type rooms with maximum comfort.
  • Aribe 3*** [29]
  • Euterpe 4**** [30]
  • National 4**** [31]
  • LITiNTERP Klaipeda guest house, Puodziu street 17, (37046) 410644, [32]. checkin: from 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Located on historical, cobbled Puodziu Street right in the heart of the town centre. In 2004 the house was renovated and converted into a cosy guest house with 2 apartments, 9 double, 5 triple and 3 single rooms. Rooms are spacious, carpeted and comfortably furnished. Some of the brick walls have been left unplastered in order to give an authentic reminder of the house's history. Every room has a private en-suite bathroom and only 4 rooms share bathrooms. In that case only two rooms sharing one bathroom. Guests have their own keys and are free to come and go at any time. All rooms are non-smoking. Car parking in the courtyard is available. Breakfast included. Free WiFI. singles 70-100 LTL, doubles 120-160 LTL, triples from 180 LTL.. (LTL,)
  • Lūgnė 3*** [33] not the most comfort place in the city, but has cheap prices for rooms.
  • Memel hotel 3*** [34] Bangų g. 4 (opened in 2012 spring).
  • Morena 3*** [35] located near to the shore of Baltic Sea (about 4 km from city center).
  • Navalis 4**** [36]
  • Old Port hotel 3*** [37]
  • Old Mill hotel 3*** [38]
  • Promenada 3*** [39] hotel is located just 2-3 minutes walk from the bus and train stations.
  • Radisson BLU 4**** [40] is known for it's outstanding service and facilities. Hotel is located in the center of the city, 5 minutes walk to the bus and train stations.
  • Reval Inn 3*** [41] "Green key" policy hotel that accepts pets.
  • Vecekrug 4**** [42]

Stay safe

Klaipeda is a safe place but like anywhere you have to use common sense. Try and walk with a confident air and never look lost.

Get out

The lovely seaside resort Palanga is on the way back to past glory. It is busy with tourists from June to September.



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